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Tortec Expedition rear rack



Well made rear rack that's strong and good value

At every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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The Tortec Expedition rack is a good value option if you want your bike, rather than your back, to take the strain. Strong enough for a big load and and nicely constructed, it'll turn its hand to everything from the commute to a full-on tour.

The Expedition is built from 10mm tubular alloy, which is a step up from the solid bars you'll get on cheaper racks. the tubes also make for a stiffer structure. It's not as durable, or repairable, as a tubular steel rack, but something similar in steel from the likes of Tubus won't leave you with much change out of a hundred quid, whereas the Tortec is just £39.99 RRP, and a lot less online.

The pannier mounting bars are separate to the top rack - lower and a bit further back. That means there's more space for a top bag, and also for your feet if you have trouble with your heels striking your bags. The rails are long enough to allow a bit of fore-aft adjustment on smaller panniers too. At the back you get a light plate that'll take a standard dynamo unit, although we needed to drill the centre hole a bit bigger to get the chunky cable of a Supernova E3 rear light to fit.

Talking of fitting, it's a pretty simple job. The arms are simple to adjust for length, angle and width so we've had no issues fitting it to test bikes and getting it level. The mounting hardware is good quality too.

In use it's been pretty much flawless. It's not quite as stiff as some of the more expensive steel racks but it's coped with some heavy loads with very little fuss. Assuming that it's not sharing a lower mount with a mudguard I wouldn't have any worries about routinely loading it up with heavy bags; you'll do well to fit enough in your panniers to trouble the maximum rating of 35kg anyway.

Certainly if you're looking for a rack for anything from commuting to a fully laden road tour, the Expedition is an excellent choice. If you're venturing right off the beaten track for a dirt road tour somewhere remote, a steel rack gives you a bit of extra strength and the additional safety net that it can more easily be fixed if it breaks. Anything less than that and this is probably all the rack you need.


Well made rear rack that's strong and good value. Recommended. test report

Make and model: Tortec Expedition rear rack

Size tested: n/a

Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

The Expedition is the rack of choice for touring cyclists needing to carry serious loads with maximum confidence. Built to last from 10mm alloy tubing, the design incorporates an additional, lower pannier rail, permitting the fitting of a rack pack without interfering with pannier hooks. Includes a rear light plate.

Rate the product for quality of construction:
Rate the product for performance:
Rate the product for durability:
Rate the product for weight, if applicable:
Rate the product for value:

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Really well.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Good quality rack for not a lot of cash.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Could be a touch stiffer for heavier loads.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.

Would you consider buying the product? Yes.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.

Overall rating: 9/10

About the tester

Age: 40  Height: 190cm  Weight: 102kg

I usually ride: whatever I'm testing...  My best bike is: Genesis Equilibrium with SRAM Apex

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb, Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling, track


Dave is a founding father of, having previously worked on Cycling Plus and What Mountain Bike magazines back in the day. He also writes about e-bikes for our sister publication ebiketips. He's won three mountain bike bog snorkelling World Championships, and races at the back of the third cats.

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lludwell. | 11 years ago

You can fit a regular band-on reflector or light to the rack... that's what those bent bits are for on the rear plate designed to impersonate a round horizontal tube.

Evski | 11 years ago

I have the Transalp, which is the disc version of this rack. It's pretty good. Pretty light but a little flexy with a heavy load. I have a Smart light rack bracket which screws straight on to the mounting plate.

dave atkinson | 11 years ago

It's a Lynskey Backroad:

we never got to review it though, as it turned out it was a custom build and it was a really weird shape that didn't fit anyone  1

RobinC | 11 years ago

Just curious, what is the test bike in the photo?

I have a tubular stainless version of this rack, which will take a bit more weight but it weighs a ton! I don't think they sell the stainless version any more.

jezzzer | 11 years ago

Toured with this rack, loaded with 20+kg and it worked flawlessly. the only thing it couldn't cope with was being crashed into by a car.

thereandbackagain | 11 years ago

I used one of these for John O'Groats - Land's end last year. They're absolutely rock solid, and work very well with Ortlieb panniers.

Cateye make a mounting plate accessory that screws into the backplate on the rack, so you can have a really solid attachement that will still let you remove the light itself.

One thing to not is they don't have a flat plate top section like some racks, so you'll definitely need mudguards.

gforce | 11 years ago

I'd be interested in knowing:
a) Whats the weight of the rack? I've had cheapie racks in the past that weight a lot!
b) Does it have a spring-loaded arm-type thing on the top for easily securing single items? Again, like many racks often have.
c) Does it come with a reflector, or do you need to come up with your own light? How easy is it to fix a light?

dave atkinson replied to gforce | 11 years ago
gforce wrote:

I'd be interested in knowing:
a) Whats the weight of the rack? I've had cheapie racks in the past that weight a lot!
b) Does it have a spring-loaded arm-type thing on the top for easily securing single items? Again, like many racks often have.
c) Does it come with a reflector, or do you need to come up with your own light? How easy is it to fix a light?

a) it's 838g, see the top of the review

b) no, this is more of an expedition-style rack and they don't tend to have them

c) no reflector on the back but you could easily fit one to the backplate, or a light. standard dynamo ones fit, and you can fit cateye ones with the grub screw mount pretty easily too.

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